In shocking news, the New Jersey Devils have fired general manager Ray Shero as the Devils released a statement by Devils Managing Partner and Chairman Josh Harris. New Jersey will look to assistant general manager Tom Fitgerald, who will take over as interim general manager, while Martin Brodeur will help out as an advisor in hockey operations, according to The Athletic’s Corey Masisak.
“The New Jersey Devils and General Manager Ray Shero have agreed to part ways, effective immediately,” Harris said in the statement. “Ray is a talented hockey executive and I am confident he will have great success in the future. However, Ray and I are in agreement that the Devils need to move in a new direction and that this change is in the best interest of the team.”
It’s a strange time for the team to rid themselves of their GM, only five weeks after Shero fired head coach John Hynes, already the head coach of the Nashville Predators, and less than a month after the team moved their star player in Taylor Hall. In fact, it’s quite rare that teams fire their GM at midseason, although the Philadelphia Flyers did that same thing last season with Ron Hextall. However, it seems obvious the team decided it didn’t want Shero making roster moves with the trade deadline five weeks away and the Devils rumored to be looking to sell.
In fact a number of names have come up in New Jersey in terms of trade candidates. The team already moved Taylor Hall for a modest return. However, other names are thought to be available as there is a general belief that the Devils are ready to commit to a full rebuild around centers Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier. With that in mind, New Jersey could look to unload Kyle Palmieri, Sami Vatanen, Wayne Simmonds and possibly even P.K. Subban, who Shero acquired this summer.
Shero took over for Lou Lamoriello back in May of 2015 after an eight-year run as GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins between 2006 to 2014. However, despite acquiring one of the greatest trade steals when the team acquired Hall for defenseman Adam Larsson from Edmonton’s Peter Chiarelli, the team has just one playoff win to show for it in the last four years. This was supposed to be the year that the Devils returned to the playoffs. The team was hoping to add some talent to convince Hall to re-sign with the team by acquiring Subban, Simmonds and KHL star Nikita Gusev to its roster. Instead the team struggled out of the gate and Hall gave more and more indications that he would sign elsewhere in May, prompting Shero to trade him in December.
Devils’ Steve Cangialosi was the first to report the firing.